We are thrilled to announce at the TOC conference in New York that Plympton is joining forces with DailyLit, the oldest and largest digital distributor of daily serialized fiction. Chosen as the #1 book website by the Sunday Times in London, DailyLit has been delivering great books and series in short installments directly to readers’ inboxes since 2006. Hundreds of thousands of readers have received over 50 million installments through DailyLit.
This combination of DailyLit’s worldwide distribution platform together with Plympton’s original serial fiction presents a unique and exciting opportunity in cutting-edge publishing. The DailyLit library ranges from classics like Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick to modern treasures by writers like Jhumpa Lahiri and Margaret Atwood. Our ambition is to commission and add to that library.
DailyLit was founded by Susan Danziger, formerly of Random House, and her husband, Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures whose birthday is this week. The initial idea behind DailyLit was to integrate quality reading into people’s busy, daily lives — through “byte-sized ebooks” as The New York Times put it — a notion that is even more pertinent today.
Susan and Albert are now investors and advisors to the combined company, and Plympton will be taking over and expanding DailyLit operations. To oversee the technical aspects of that effort, Jacqueline Chang, an MIT graduate who was mostly recently an engineer at StumbleUpon, has joined us as our technical cofounder and Chief Technology Officer.
As my cofounder, the novelist Yael Goldstein Love, says, “DailyLit has always been about making books a daily part of peoples’ lives again. I’m inspired by it as a writer and a reader and thrilled to have this chance to expand on the great work Susan has already done while also giving our own original fiction a welcoming new home.”
In particular, we’ve been impressed how DailyLit has created an intimate and direct relationship with readers. When Susan sends out the newsletter to hundreds of thousands in the DailyLit audience, people write back personally.
Our vision for the future of DailyLit tackles a number of problems that are facing publishers, authors, and independent bookstores as reading becomes increasingly digitized. Susan and Albert have already created a robust platform for delivering great writing, having launched almost 1,000 critically acclaimed titles from a number of major publishers.
We at Plympton want to bring the DailyLit experience up-to-date by developing new and engaging ways to give readers more power than ever to read what they want, when and where they want.
DailyLit was the first way to get a library of fiction delivered to your phone (“highbrow” as the New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix put it). The first iteration was in 2006, in the ole’ Blackberry and Treo days, pre-Kindle, pre-iPhone. Back then, it was all by email, but today mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are clearly changing the way we read, and we want to re-imagine the entire DailyLit experience. That means everything from commissioning works meant to be read natively in digital format to finding the best way to deliver those stories to readers.
These are issues the whole publishing industry is thinking about, and DailyLit will not only promote Plympton’s original series, but will provide solutions for great serialized titles coming out from other publishing houses, many of whom have made works available on DailyLit in the past.
Over the last several months, our editorial team have been busy commissioning new series for Plympton/DailyLit and have been thrilled to discover how many writers are eager to try their hand at this old-new form of storytelling. Upcoming titles will include original fiction by, among others, Rachel Kadish, author of the critically-acclaimed novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story; Deni Bechard, whose debut novel Vandal Love won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; National Book Award Finalist Edith Pearlman; and Julian Gough, whose novel Jude in Ireland was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction and who has twice been nominated for (and once been awarded) the BBC short story award. We also remain committed as ever to discovering emerging talent and giving a platform to great writing that might otherwise not find a home in an increasingly shrinking marketplace.
We are particularly excited to unveil WinkPoke, an ongoing series of short stories about love in the digital age. WinkPoke is literature’s answer to The New York Times’ “Modern Love” column, with each installment a rich, fictional look at how we navigate intimate relationships in a world dominated by Facebook, FaceTime, and dining companions too obsessed with their phones to notice the growing look of despair on our collective faces.
Finally, we’re one of eight finalists in the SXSW Accelerator startup competition in the entertainment and gaming category. We’ll be on stage on March 11 in Austin. We’re planning to reveal more of our DailyLit plans then.
Questions? Comments? Thoughts? You can email me and yael at yaelandjenny[at]plympton.com.